When I stepped outside this morning, the air was reverberating with birdsong. The rain hadn't stopped the birds from singing! And the rain hadn't kept them from busily foraging for the birdseed and scratch feed that I had scattered for them, so I knew we were in for a rainy day.
When I was a child, we always had chickens, and my mother could predict by their behavior whether it was going to rain all day or if it would soon stop. If the chickens went out foraging in the rain, it was going to rain all day. On the other hand, if they were waiting on the roost, the rain was going to stop soon. I never knew the chickens to miss it. Likewise with the wild birds; they, too, are excellent predictors of whether we are in for a rainy day or if the rain will soon let up. Don't believe it? Check it out for yourself with the birds in your own yard.
Yesterday, I saw the first hummingbird this year. My feeders had been up since the first of April, and in prior years, we always saw the hummers by April 10. Either they were late arriving this year or I simply wasn't looking at the right moment. I fill and hang the feeders early in case of early arrivals. I started doing that after I saw one buzz right up to where the feeder had hung the previous year, but no feeder was there waiting. I quickly made the sugar nectar and hung the feeder, and as I did so, it dawned on me that the bird must have been a regular visitor to that feeder last year! And it had returned to the same yard, the same spot, expecting to find food! How was that possible? Only the Creator of the hummingbirds really knows! And I marvel.
Is it not amazing how the critters in the natural world are so attuned to their environment? We have all heard stories about dogs apparently knowing that an earthquake was going to happen and animals running for high ground before a tsunami hits. And who understands as yet exactly how birds know when to migrate and where to go--and how to get there? What a God of wonders who simply spoke and it was so. What power there was, and is, in His Word!
We humans have gotten pretty good at discerning and forecasting weather patterns, and modern technology has enabled meteorologists to quite accurately predict the weather for many days in advance. Jesus complimented folk on their ability to discern the weather signs in the sky and the earth, then He scolded them for not discerning the signs of the times. (See Matt. 16:2-4 and Luke 12:54-56.) Evidently, the signs of the times should have been as apparent to them as the weather signs. And they would have been had they been studying and accurately interpreting the many prophecies in the Old Testament about the Messiah.
If we are watchfully alert, we will discern signs of the times in our world today. Could God be trying to get our attention by allowing the proliferation of terrible happenings? I think of the three major earthquakes along the "ring of fire" just within the last few weeks. And the terrible flooding in Texas and other places, and tornadoes in various places. To say nothing of the unspeakable crimes that every news program tells us about. And man, whose heav'n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn, - Man's inhumanity to man Makes countless thousands mourn! (Robert Burns, "Man was Made to Mourn: A Dirge, 1784)
For comfort, though, we have the words of Jesus in Luke 21:28: "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." For context, may I suggest that you read the entire chapter.
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7-20 Blackberry Thorns
7-28 Weeping and joy
6-2-15 Holy and reverend is His name
8-18 A butterfly summer
The Value of a Penny
Promises and Detours
2-3 My chiroptophobia
2-10 The blessing of bats
Homesick for a place I've never been
One Snowy Morning
1-5-16 Paintbrush for the mind
Glories of spring